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Manitoba Provincial Sampler

Curated Submission
Winnipeg, Manitoba
1943 - 1944
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
101.5 x 76.5
Materials & techniques
Linen, embroidery thread; Weaving, embroidery, crewel
Designed by H. Eric Bergman, woven by Inga Roos
Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library 68.00
In 1943, the head office of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild initiated a national project, suggesting that each provincial guild branch produce a sampler representing their province. The Manitoba branch subsequently organized these samplers into a touring exhibition, The Travelling Canadian Needlecraft Exhibit. This Manitoba Sampler was designed by the noted artist and guild member H. Eric Bergman. The linen used was hand-woven by Inga Roos, and the sampler was embroidered in twenty distinct stitches by the many members of the embroidery group.
The geography of Manitoba has been represented through a range of symbols, from the province’s distinctive wildlife to important political and economic centres. The left-hand border is formed by four varieties of coniferous trees that grow throughout the province, as well as by wheat, which has traditionally been the heart of the prairie economy. The right-hand border features the provincial shield surrounded by a number of native wildflowers, including the prairie crocus, wild iris, and black-eyed Susan.
Manitoba’s wildlife is presented in its natural habitats, ranging from polar bears and narwhals in the north, to beavers, mallard ducks, and deer in the south. Winnipeg, the provincial capital, is signified by its legislative building, while agricultural centres near Brandon are represented by grain elevators. The mining town of Flin Flon is visible in the northwest, and the important northern port of Churchill is marked on the shore of Hudson Bay. Aspects of the province’s history are also alluded to by the dog sledding and canoeing figures, which represent the voyageurs and coureurs de bois who participated in the early fur trade.
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